Obscene Exposure

The deliberate physical act of obscene exposure in public or in view of the general public by a person of a portion or portions of their body, where the exposure is contrary to local moral or other standards of appropriate behaviour is an offence.



Section 5 of the Summary Offences Act 1988 (NSW) states:

“A person shall not, in or within view from a public place or a school, wilfully and obscenely expose his or her person”.

An offence of Obscene Exposure is what is known as Summary offence which means that the matter will be finalised in the Local Court.

The nature and elements of the offence of Obscene Exposure were considered in R v Benson; Ex parte Tubby (1882) 8 VLR (L) 2 (FC) (at 5): A person may still find themselves in trouble for obscene exposure even if they are unseen, as the court stated in a joint judgment:

“It is quite unnecessary to prove that the prisoner was actually seen by anyone on the highway when he was exposing himself; it is sufficient that he was in view and could have been seen by any person there.”



The maximum penalty for the above-mentioned charges is imprisonment for 6 months, or an $1100 fine, or both.

However, these penalties are reserved only for the worst kind of offenders.

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for an Obscene Exposure charge:

  • Full-time Imprisonment;
  • An Intensive Correction Order (ICO);
  • A Community Correction Order (CCO);
  • A Conditional Release Order (CRO); and/or
  • A Fine.



Since Obscene Exposure offence is a criminal offence, the burden of proof lies on the Prosecution. The prosecution must be able to prove every element in the charge beyond a reasonable doubt in that:

  • You exposed yourself in an obscene way; and
  • You did so within sight of the public place or a school; AND
  • That no defences are applicable to you at law.



Some of the possible defences available for those charged with Obscene Exposure include:

  • If you were compelled to act in a certain way due to the circumstances, or the threats of another you may be able to argue “Duress”; or
  • If your actions were necessary to prevent a greater harm from occurring, you may have the defence of “Necessity”.
  • You did not do the act
  • The act was done in a private setting and not able to be viewed by any member of the public



For Obscene Exposure, Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® offers the following options:

  1. We initiate negotiation with prosecutors (police) (a term referred to as “plea negotiations”) and plead to withdrawal or downgrade of the charge or alternatively, seek amendments to the police fact sheets or documents.
  2. At the hearing/trial, Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® shall if you so instruct Plead Not Guilty and drive the argument based on prosecution’s inability to prove the elements of their accusation.
  3. Alternatively, Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® may plead guilty on your instructions however, the hearing shall revolve around the facts with an objective to obtain a moderate or minimum punishment.
  4. Lastly, Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® on your instructions enter a plea of guilt where you accept all the charges pressed by the police, but we present a case so solid on your behalf, with an objective to persuade and convince the Court to not record a criminal conviction against you.

For further information on your choices at law click on (CHOICES AT LAW tab on our website)



There are several reasons to engage Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers®:

  •  We are always in your corner

At Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® we understand the gravity of a criminal charge on your reputation. Thus, we work with the utmost diligence and fervour to restore any dints to our client’s repute. We fight for your rights and liberty earnestly, and for the best results, irrespective of the intensity of the matter. All these factors have made us known in the industry as always being in our client’s corner. 

  •  We bring about excellent results

Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® is driven by positive outcomes and defend your case with skills which have been sharpened by years of experience. You will be dealing with lawyers who are proficient at their craft and will defend your case with rigour and an aim to have the matter withdrawn, downgraded, dismissed or the minimal penalty available at law imposed.

Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® are adept in all forms of advocacy and will present your case in the most skilful manner in Court. 

  • Your case will be in the hands of an experienced lawyer

Irrespective of your decision in deciding the course of the case, you will be supported and guided by Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® who have been in the provision of legal service for over 21 years. 

If you are caught up in this charge our team at Rep-Revive Criminal Lawyers® are best suited for representing your case.

Please contact our office on 0419 998 398 or 0492 857 721 or email info@rpr5.sydney for more information. The first consultation is free.

Speak to a Lawyer

Get a free Consultation